You love your cat. You care for your cat really well. Everything is right, and as it should be, chez-toi. But….there is always a “but”, it can’t always be pure harmony between you and your cat. It does not matter how much you love her, there has to be something that occasionally irritates you. A niggle that tweaks your brain. You are going to tell me, No, there isn’t.
I am not writing about something that your cat does that is annoying. I am writing about something that your cat does that you, because of your temperament and lifestyle, find irritating. This is about us. Cats are cats. What they do, is what they do. We appreciate that. But even the most harmonious marriage of the most enduring kind requires some work and there will be something that annoys either of the partners.
Here are some examples of the things that occasionally irritate me about living with any cat.
Getting Under Your Feet
Yes, this can be irritating. It is not because of the cat. A cat is nuzzling up against you when you are about to feed her. She is exchanging scent and feeling good, about to get her dinner. You are much bigger than her and she is right down there under your feet. It is both sweet and nice but also irritating because you are fearful that one day, you’ll turn around and walk on his foot or leg or something and hurt him. It is the fear of that which annoys.
If you have several cats there must be a greater likelihood of hurting one of them by walking into one. The danger is heightened when feeding kittens. I have never feed kittens because I have always adopted adults. However, I wonder how many kittens have been killed or seriously injured because their owner inadvertently walked on them. The fear of doing that would wind me up slightly and that emotion is something I don’t want to feel when I am trying to feed my cat and do X, Y and Z at the same time.
Screaming For Food
The domestic cat seems to have lost his ability to self-regulate food intake. Even when overweight and fed adequately a cat will demand more. You have to put your foot down and refuse. You have to diet your cat. Very often you have to diet yourself at the same time. It is double dieting. That can get to you after a while. Dieting is about mental discipline. It often leads to failure. That irritates and upsets. Looking at your slightly overweight cat is a reminder of your failure.
Some cats don’t scream for food and aren’t overweight. They might even be underweight. However, we are told that, in the USA, more than half of dogs and cats are overweight. One reason is because a cat does not want to self-regulate food intake. You never see fat wild cats. You never see fat lions and lions are pretty efficient hunters, which allows them to sleep more than any other cat, yet the lion still maintains a healthy weight. This must be due to self-regulation.
When a cat asks for food and you have to refuse, it can be a bit irritating because (a) you want to please your cat and you can’t on this occasion and (b) he is pestering you for food and you can’t explain that it is not a good idea to eat more.
It seems that we (humans) have created a bit of a monster in the overfeeding domestic cat. It is our problem. One reason for it is dry cat food which encourages eating.
I don’t like to see my cat scratching himself. It is perfectly normal and he has no medical problems at present that encourages it. From a human perspective – and my perspective – a cat tends to over-scratch. Charlie, my cat, belts away with his hind legs and those long claws scratching his forehead or some other area around the head and I just want him to stop after a few swipes but he goes and on. Cats must have thick skin. The fur protects them too. This probably accounts for what I consider to be over doing it. If I am near him I gently stop him.
My cat has a sneeze that is louder than mine! Well, not quite but it is at the same volume. What is a bit irritating is that he sneezes several times in a row and he might do it all over my computer while I am writing something like this. It is the noise, the shock factor, that is slightly upsetting to me.
The things that might grate against the harmony of a nice relationship with a cat is very personal to the person. As I said it is about the person, not the cat.
We should accept everything a cat does. The things that I mentioned probably don’t bother most people. The classic irritations for most people are scratching furniture and shedding hair everywhere. These things don’t bother me at all. They won’t bother a cat lover.
The things that I have mentioned are similar to leaving the toothpaste top off the toothpaste or not putting the toilet seat down. The little niggles between married couples.